Vanessa-Mae Olympic Dream
Something's go together naturally, like salt and pepper, Romeo and Juliet, strawberries and cream. But two things that you would not usually associate with each other are classical music and skiing. But one supremely talented violinist who was born in Singapore is hoping to combine the two in some small way and her name is Vanessa-Mae.
Having already mastered the violin to a great standard and performed in some of the most prestigious classical music venues, she has decided that she wants a new challenge in her life. This is why she is going to put down her instrument for a year and try to qualify for the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The classically trained artist intends to compete for Thailand, a heritage she gets from her Father's side of the family.
She said: “I wanted to compete for Thailand because there is a part of me which I have never celebrated -- being Thai. My father, like most Thais, has never skied but he's really excited about me doing this as is the Thai Olympic Committee."
It seems when Vanessa-Mae, 34, sets her mind to something she has a steely determination to see it through to the end. And would you believe it, she has the ambition to compete in not just one category in the games, but five! These are all internationally recognised events which will be contested by athletes who have been training all their lives for this opportunity, including the giant slalom and the slalom.
The diminutive violinist said: "People are surprised when they see me skiing - a classical violinist, Oriental, who has lived in the city all her life. But it has been my dream to be a ski bum since I was 14. This is something I am determined to do."
Vanessa-Mae is extremely focused on this goal. So much so that she moved to Switzerland in 2009 to get closer to the slopes she needs to practice. Every day she trains on the Swiss alpine resort of Zermatt to ensure that she gets to an even higher standard. The goal is to qualify and can compete in the Olympics, a competition that is heralded as the ultimate achievement for any athlete.